A favorite Christmas beverage turns into a fluffy pie filling complete with rum and brandy. For a nonalcoholic version, replace the alcohol with milk and add a little rum flavoring.
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.Crust:
2. In large bowl, stir together crumbs, pecans, butter, nutmeg, cloves and salt until mixture is evenly moistened. Press mixture over bottom and up sides of 9-inch glass pie plate.
3. Bake in 375 degrees F oven for 12 to 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer pie plate to wire rack; let cool completely.Filling:
4. In medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together 1/3 cup of the sugar, gelatin and salt. Stir in the water and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent eggs cooking on bottom and side of pan, until slightly thickened and temperature registers 160 degrees F on instant-read thermometer, about 8 minutes. Immediately strain through fine-mesh sieve into large bowl. Stir in rum, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
5. In clean bowl with clean beaters, beat powdered egg white mixture on medium speed until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining 1/3 cup sugar on medium-high. Continue to beat until stiff but glossy peaks form. Set aside.
6. In large bowl, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
7. Place bowl containing gelatin mixture in larger bowl filled with ice water. Stir with whisk until mixture mounds slightly, about 2 minutes. Quickly stir one-quarter of egg whites into gelatin mixture to lighten. Gently fold in remaining beaten whites, then fold in whipped cream. Pour into cooled pie shell. Cover with inverted large bowl; refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.Garnish:
8. Dip one end of each pecan into melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper-lined baking pan. Let dry.
9. Reserve 16 dipped pecans. Place remaining dipped pecans in food processor; pulse until coarsely ground.
10. To serve, sprinkle ground pecans around edge of pie; decorate with reserved dipped pecans.
11. Note: Powdered egg whites are available from The Baker's Catalogue, 800-827-6836 or www.bakerscatalogue.com.